In 2003, Pennsylvania passed a law to lower the illegal limit for DUI from .10% to 0.08%. This law also implemented a tiered approach to assessing drunk driving penalties. Now prior to assessing penalties the courts will consider a driver’s previous DUI record and the level of alcohol in their blood at the time of the DUI arrest.
Drivers arrested for a Pennsylvania DUI who do not have a prior offense and who have a BAC from 0.08% to .099% will face a misdemeanor charge, up to six months probation, a $300 fine, and a mandatory attendance of an alcohol treatment program. Drivers will not have their license suspended if it is their first DUI offense and they meet certain criteria.
Why was my license suspended?
If you have not been convicted for drunk driving in Pennsylvania you may be shocked to find that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (DOT) has suspended your driver’s license. How can they do this? Under Pennsylvania’s Implied Consent Laws all Pennsylvania’s drivers have given their implied consent to take a chemical test if asked to do so by a law enforcement officer. Drivers who refuse to take the blood alcohol content test (BAC) can have their license suspended for 12 months.
Drivers have 30 days from the operator’s notice to appeal the license suspension. The administrative license suspension is separate from any criminal fines or penalties that you might face if you are ultimately convicted for DUI. Consider also, if you are ultimately acquitted of your DUI charges the administrative license suspension will not be withdrawn.
Drivers who request a Pennsylvania administrative hearing to challenge the administrative license suspension will have their case heard at the Pennsylvania Statutory License Appeals Hearings.
Can I get an Occupational License after a license suspension?
First time DUI offenders may be able to request an occupational driver’s license after you have served 60 days of your license suspension.
What happens if you get a drunk driving conviction in another state?
Drivers who have committed a “similar offense” in another state (which are part of the driver’s license compact agreement) will have the penalties enforced within the state of Pennsylvania by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (DOT).
Violations which are reported to member states include driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or a narcotic to a degree which renders the driver incapable of safely driving a motor vehicle (Section 3731; repealed 2/1/2004) Section 3802 (effective 2/1/2004).
How do I restore my driver’s license?
Drivers who have had their driver’s license suspended and who have met the suspension requirements outlined by the DOT should receive a letter from the DOT which outlines their restoration privileges.
Requirements to restore your driver’s license can include:
- Payment of the restoration fees to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
- Complete the alcohol education and treatment program. The appropriate forms of completion must be sent to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (DOT) after the program has been completed.
- Submit a reinstatement application to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Bureau of Driver Licensing
P.O. Box 68618
Harrisburg, PA 17106-8618
- Drunk Driving and Pennsylvania’s Drivers License Compact (duiattorneyhome.com)
- License suspended but Drunk Driving case dismissed (duiattorneyhome.com)
- Pleading Guilty to a Second DUI Charge in Pennsylvania (duiattorneyhome.com)
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